This section is from the book "Dental Medicine. A Manual Of Dental Materia Medica And Therapeutics", by Ferdinand J. S. Gorgas. Also available from Amazon: Dental Medicine.
Specific Gravity: 1.08.
Creasote is a product of the distillation of wood-tar, and is a mixture of several phenols, such as carbolic acid, creasol, C8H10O2, and cresylol, C7H8O. Its name is derived from the Greek kpeag, "flesh," owtns, "preserver," as animal substances, when saturated with it, are preserved from putrefaction. It is also obtained from crude pyroligneous acid. When derived from wood-tar, creasote principally consists of such phenols as guaiacol, creasol, methyl-creasol, and phloral. The best form of creasote for medicinal use is made from beech-wood.
Creasote, when fresh and pure, is a colorless, oleaginous fluid, with a strong empyreumatic odor, resembling closely carbolic acid, and a caustic, burning taste ; when made from beech-wood creasote is of a reddish, amber color. After exposure, it has a yellowish or brownish tinge. Its purity may be tested by strong acetic acid, which dissolves the creasote, and leaves behind the impurities floating above the creasote solution. It may also be tested by dropping it on paper, when, if pure, it will, after being volatilized by heat, leave no stain. Creasote may be distinguished from carbolic acid, which it closely resembles in many respects, in being less caustic, and by not imparting a blue color to a piece of pine wood dipped first into an alkaline solution of creasote, and then, after drying, into muriatic acid.
Combined with the tincture of the chloride of iron, an alcoholic solution of creasote will develop a deep, greenish-blue color, while carbolic acid with the same tincture produces a light brown. According to the U. S. Dispensatory, creasote powerfully coagulates albumen.
Creasote is stimulant, sedative, rubefacient, escharotic, styptic and antiseptic. It possesses the property of immediately coagulating albumen, and to this property is ascribed many of its effects on the living system. In large doses it is an acro-narcotic poison; but in small doses, it is styptic and astringent, and for the latter property it is more generally administered than for any other. When creasote comes in contact with the blood, the latter changes from a bright red to a reddish-brown color, with small spots of coagulated albumen and it also becomes thicker. Applied to the tongue, it causes severe pain, but without redness or tumefaction; it also causes a strong taste of smoke, and a copious flow of saliva. When administered internally in small doses, it causes a sensation of warmth in the stomach, and exercises a decided sedative action. In large and poisonous doses it produces profound stupor, flushed countenance, fixed eyes, slow and labored pulse, irritable stomach, nausea, vertigo, but has no effect, such as dilatation or contraction, on the pupils. The treatment in cases of poisoning by creasote consists in administering albumen, such as white of eggs, milk or wheat flour; also the administration of ammonia and other stimulants, mustard, emetics, etc. Death from creasote is caused by its coagulating the albumen of the blood, and preventing its circulation through the arterial system.
Creasote is administered internally for gastric irritability and vomiting, flatulence, diarrhoea, diabetes, hemoptysis, pulmonary consumption, chronic bronchitis, epilepsy, neuralgia, etc. Externally, it is applied to ulcers, eruptions, diseases of the skin, wounds, hemorrhage from wounds or leech bites, warts ; also in putrid sore throat, as a gargle.
Of creasote, gtt. j or gtt. ij, several times a day, either in mucilage, in the proportion of half a fluid ounce to a drop of the creasote; or it may be given in pill form. For external use, from gtt. ij to gtt. vj, or more may be added to a fluid ounce of water.
Aqua Creasoti (creasote, distilled water, Oj). Dose of creasote water, to
For the purpose of making the application of creasote to the teeth more convenient, and preventing the effects upon the mucous membrane of the mouth when applying it to carious cavities in teeth, a gelatinous solidity may be given to it by adding 10 parts of collodion to 15 parts of creasote.
Creasote, like carbolic acid, is a valuable agent in dental practice, although the use of the latter has, in some respects, superseded that of the former, the two being very similar in their action, with some advantages in the case of carbolic acid. Creasote is employed for the relief of odontalgia, obtunding the sensitiveness of dentine, alveolar abscess, periodontitis, suppurating pulps of teeth, devitalizing pulps of teeth, treatment of exposed pulps of teeth, mercurial, and other forms of stomatitis, ulcers of the mouth, diseases of the gums; as a styptic for hemorrhage from the gums, mucous membrane and leech bites, and after the extraction of teeth. Creasote, like carbolic acid, has a peculiar power as an antiseptic, hence it is a valuable application in cases attended with offensive purulent discharges. It promotes the growth of healthy granulations, and hastens the healing of wounds, and arrests the process of suppuration. Properly diluted in the form of a gargle, creasote in sloughs of the mouth or throat stimulates the ulcer to healing and corrects fetor of the breath. When applied to ulcerated surfaces, it should be repeated as pus is formed, or fungous growths appear. It is a painful escharotic upon mucous membrane, with, however, a soothing reaction.
For the treatment of exposed pulps it is employed either diluted or in its full strength; for periodontitis and alveolar abscess, in its full strength, or in combination with such agents as glycerine, iodine, etc.; also in devitalized teeth, and as an antiseptic application in ulceration of the mouth, and recession of gums from the necks of the teeth. When used as a styptic after the extraction of teeth it is applied on lint or cotton, with pressure; and diluted with water it is employed in the treatment of caries and necrosis of the maxillary bones. To dilute it for injections it is often mixed with alcohol, and the strength reduced by adding water. Mixed with an equal quantity of oil of cloves its odor and taste are modified. Creasote is also employed to neutralize any acid remaining in the cavity of a tooth about to be filled, and to harden and render imperishable the contents of the dentinal tubuli, for which purpose it is applied to the walls of the cavity on a pellet of cotton. Equal quantities by bulk of creasote and oil of cloves are applied to aching teeth, painful gums, ulcerous surfaces, and also where pulps are not exposed; also for saturating cavities before the insertion of fillings, as a disinfectant and coagulant.
An ointment - Unguentum Creasoti - is composed of creasote 10 parts, lard 90 parts, and is useful in cutaneous affections.
For Pulpitis. Dr. GarretsoN.
Tinct. iodinii .... Liq. plumb. subacetat. Chloroforrni, Tinct. opii.....
Apply on cotton to exposed surface of pulp.
For Alveolar Abscesses.
Linimenti iodi, partes aequales. M. Signa. - To be used as an injection.
To be applied, on a pellet of cotton, to carious cavity.
Morphinae acetatis . . gr.xx. M. Signa. - To be applied, on cotton, to carious cavity.
Creasoti, Chloroforrni, Liquidi opii .... Tinctura benzoini . Signa. - To be applied, on a pellet of cotton, to carious cavity.
To be applied, on a pellet of cotton, to carious cavity. (See formulae of Carbolic Acid.)
Guaiacol is a derivation of wood creasote, in the form of an oily liquid with an odor of cassia and resorcin.
The liquid guaiacol found in commerce is far from being a chemically pure product. It is a mixture of cresylol, guaiacol and creasote in varying proportions. It may contain 50 per cent. guaiacol, but sometimes it contains no more than 20 or even 10 per cent. Pure guaiacol is in the form of hard, white rhomboidal crystals, almost insoluble in water, but soluble in alcohol, in oil, and in anhydrous glycerine.
The taste of guaiacol is slightly sweetish, with a pungent and burning after-taste. The chief effects of poisoning with pure guaiacol are, agitation and then enfeeblement with retardation of the heart's action, and of the breathing. Most of the secretions, and especially the lachrymal, are increased in quantity. Death occurs during coma. Synthetic guaiacol has been administered in various stages of consumption, taken immediately before eating. Large doses may cause vomiting.
The oily liquid possesses the active principle of creasote, and the power to destroy microbes in the human mouth. It is claimed to possess the same therapeutic value as creasote and to be a better disinfectant, especially in cases of decomposed pulps. "Guaiacol may be sealed up in a pulp cavity from one to three months or more, and the contents be found perfectly disinfected."